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earthquake at Rome is mentioned by Suetonius as having happened in the reign of Galba.1

(v.) The FIFTH SIGN is, fearful Sights and Signs from Heaven. PROPHECY. — Luke xxi. 11. There shall be fearful sights and signs froin heaven.

FULFILMENT. - Many prodigies are related by Josephus ; particularly that, in Judæa, at the commencement of the war, and before the siege of Jerusalem by Titus, “ there broke out a prodigious storm in the night, with the utmost violence and very strong winds, with the largest showers of rain, with continual lightnings, ferrible thunderings, and amazing concussions and bellowings of the earth that was in an earthquake. These things were a manifest indication, that some destruction was coming upon men, when the system of this world was thrown into such a disorder; and any one would guess that these wonders portended some grand calamities that were impending." The same historian, in the preface3 to his history of the Jewish war, undertakes to record the signs and prodigies that preceded it: and accordingly in his sixth book 4 he enumerates them, thus ; - 1. A star hung over the city like a sword, and the comet continued for a whole year. -2. The people being assembled to celebrate the feast of unleavened bread, at the ninth hour of the night there shone so great a light about the altar and the temple, that it seemed to bright day, and this continued for half an hour. - 3. At the same feast, a cow, led by the priest to sacrifice, brought forth a lamb in the middle of the temple. - 4. The eastern gate of the temple, which was of solid brass and very heavy, and was scarcely shut in an evening by twenty men, and was fastened by strong bars and bolts, was seen at the sixth hour of the night opened of its own accord, and could hardly be shut again. - 5. Before the setting of the sun there were seen over all the country chariots and armies fighting in the clouds, and besieging cities.-6. At the feast of Pentecost, as the priests were going into the inner temple by night as usual to attend their service, they heard first a motion and noise, and then a voice as of a multitude, saying, Let us depart hence. – 7. What Josephus reckons as the most terrible of all, one Jesus, an ordinary country fellow, four years before the war began, and when the city was in peace and plenty, came to the feast of tabernacles, and ran crying up and down the streets day and night, ! A voice from the east, a voice from the west, a voice from the four winds, a voice against Jerusalem and the temple, a voice against the bridegrooms and the brides, a voice against all the people, The magistrates endeavoured by stripes and torture to restrain him; but he still cried with a mournful voice, Woe, woe to Jerusalem! This he continued to do for seven years and five months together, and especially at the great festivals; and he neither grew hoarse, nor was tired; but went about the walls and cried with a loud voice, Woe, woe to the city, and to the people, and to the temple ;' and as he added at last,

Woe, 100e, also to myself, it happened that a stone froin some sling or engine immediately struck him dead. These were indeed fearful signs and great sights from hea. den: and there is not a more creditable historian ihan the author who relates them, and who appeals to the testimony of those who saw and heard them.5 But it may add some weight to his relation, that Tacitus, the Roman historian, also gives us a summary account of the same occurrences. He says, that there happened several prodigies, armies were seen engaging in the heavens, arms were seen glittering, and the temple shone with the sudden fire of the clouds, the doors of the temple opened suddenly, and a voice greater than human was heard, that the gods were departing, and likewise a great motion of their departing. Dr. Jortin's remark is very pertinent, If Christ had not expressly foretold this, many, who give little heed to portents, and who know

that historians have been too credulous in that point, would have suspected that Josephus exaggerated, and that Tacitus was misinformed but as the testimonies of Josephus and Tacitus confirm the predictions of Christ, so the predictions of Christ confirm the wonders recorded by these historians.?

(vi.) The sixth SIGN is, the Persecution of the Christians. PROPHECY. - Mark xiii. 9. Matt. xxiv. 9. Luke xxi. 12. But before all these things, they shall lay hands on you, and persecute you, and shali deliver

1 Suetonius, in Galba, c. 18.
2 De Bell. Jud. lib. 4. c. 4. 5 5.

3 De Bell. Jud. $ 11. 4 ]bid. lib. 6. c. 5. 03. 5. Mr. Milman has admirably wrought up these portentous signs, in his Poem on the Fall of Jerusalem, pp. 106-114.

6 Evenerant prodigia - Visæ per cælum concurrere acies, rutilantia arma, et subito nubium igne collucere templum. Expasse repente delubri fores, et audita major humana vox, Excedere Deos. Simul ingens motus excedentium. 'Tacit. Hist. lib. 5. c. 13. p. 217. edit. Lipsii.

7 Jortin's Remarks on Ecclesiastical History, vol. i. p. 41.

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you up to councils, to the synagogues and to prisons, to be beaten ; and shall kill you. And ye shall be hated of all nations, and shall be brought before rulers and kings for my name's sake, for a testimony against them.

FULFILMENT. — The precision with which the time is specified, is very remarkable. Previously to the other prognostics of the destruction of Jerusalem, the disciples of Jesus Christ were taught to expect the hardships of persecution : and how exactly this prediction was accomplished we may read in the Acts of the Apostles. There we find that some were delivered to councils, as Peter and John. (iv.5. &e.) Some were brought before rulers and kings, as Paul before Gallio (xviii. 12.), Felix (xxiv.)

, Festus and Agrippa (xxv.) Some had a mouth and wisdom which all their adterseries were not able to gainsay nor resist, as it is said of Stephen (vi. 10.), that they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake, and Paul made eren Felix to tremble (xxiv. 25.), and the Gospel still prevailed against all opposition and persecution whatever. Some were imprisoned, as Peter and John. (15. 4.) Some were beaten, as Paul and Silas. (xvi. 23.) Some were put to death, as Stephen (vii

. 59.), and Jaines the brother of John. (xii. 2.) But if we would look farther, we have a more melancholy proof of the truth of this prediction, in the persecutions under Nero

, in which (besides numberless other Christians) fell thosel two great champions of our faith, St. Peter and St. Paul. And it was nominis prælium, as Tertullian terms it; it was a war against the very name. Though a man was possessed of every human virtue, yet it was crime enough if he was a Christian : so true were our Saviour's words, that they should be hated of all nations for his name's sake. Hence arose that common saying among the heathens - l'ir bonus Caius Sejus; tanquan nodo quòd Christianus : – Caius Sejus is a good man, only he is a Christian. (vii.) The SEVENTH SIGN was, the Preaching of the Gospel throughout the

then knoon world. PROPHECY. — Mark süi. 10. The Gospel must be published among all nations. The

Fulfilment of this prediction is recorded, from Christian and from Heathen testimony, supra, pp. 346-350.

§ 2. The circumstances of the Destruction of Jerusalem.

(i.) The Siege of Jerusalem by the Roman Armies. PROPHECY. — Luke xxi. 20. Matt. xxiv. 15. Mark xiii. 14. When ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, (and) the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the Prophet, standing where it ought not, in the holy place --- then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. — Luke xix. 43. The days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench round about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side.

FULFILMENT. — The devoted place, which was the immediate object of these formi. dable denunciations, is here most clearly pointed out. The abomination of desolation is the Roman army; and the abomination of desolation standing in the holy place, is the Roman army encamped around Jerusalem ; for not only the temple and the moun: tain on which it stood, but also the whole city of Jerusalem and several furlongs of land round it, were accounted holy. This Jesus Christ declared to be the abomina. tion of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet in his ninth and eleventh chapters ; and so let every one who reads these prophecies understand them, and in reference to this very event they are understood by the rabbins. The Roman army is further called the abomination, on account of its ensigns, for the images of the emperor and the eagles, which were carried in front of the legions, were regarded with religious abhor rence by the Jews, as they were ranked among the pagan deities, and reverenced with divine bonours. Josephus relates, that after the city was taken, the Romans brought their ensigns into the temple, placed thein over the eastern gate, and sacrificed to them there.3

A trench was literally cast about Jerusalem, when that city was besieged by Titus The Roman armies compassed it round about completely ; and although it was at first considered an impracticable project to surround the whole city with a wall, yet Titus animated his army to make the attempt. Josephus has given a very partieular ac count of the building of this wall; which, he says, was effected in three days, though it was not less than thirty-nine furlongs (nearly nine English miles) in length, and had thirteen towers erected at proper distances, in which the Roman soldiers were placed. as in garrisons. When the wall was thus completed, the Jews were so enclosed on every

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1 Euseb. Eccles. Hist. lib. 2. c. 25.
2 Tertull. Apol. c. 2. p. 4. edit. Rigaltü. Paris, 1675.
3 De Bell. Jud. lib. 6. c. 6. g 1.

load, 1 Josephus, de Bell. Jud. lib. 5. c. 12.0 1, 2, 3. 9 lbid lib.2. c. 19. ; 6. c. 20. ý 1. 3 Ibid. lib. 4. c. 8. Ø 2. 4 Eusebius, Hist. Eccl. lib. 3. c. 6. Epiphanius adversus Nazaræos, lib.i. $ 7. 5 Josnnhus de Belled lih. 6. c.

side, that ne person could escape out of the city, and no provision could be brought in: so that the besieged Jews were involved in the most terrible distress by the famine that ensued.1 (ii.) Christ's prophetic advice to the Christians who might then be in Jeru

salem, to make their escape. PROPHEcx. . Matt. xxiv, 16—18. Mark xiii. 14-16. Luke 21. Then let them which are in Judæa flee to the mountains, and let them which are in the midst of it depart out, and let not them that are in the [adjacent] countries enter thereinto. And let not him that is on the house-top, go down into the house, neither enter therein to take any thing out of his house. And let him that is in the field not turn back again to take up his garment (which he had thrown aside as an incumbrance.)

FULFILMENT. – This counsel was wisely remembered and wisely followed by the Christians afterwards. By Judæa, in this part of our Lord's prophecy, we are to understand all the southern parts of Palestine, both the plain and the hill countries, which at this time had received the appellation of Judæa. By the mountains we are to understand the countries on the eastern side of the river Jordan, especially those which during the Jewish war were under the government of the younger Agrippa, to whom the emperor Claudius gave Batanæa and Trachonitis (the tetrarchy of Philip), and Abilene (the tetrarchy of Lysanias.) Nero afterwards added that quarter of Galilee where Tiberias and Tarichea stood, and in Peræa, Julias with its fourteen villages. As all these mountainous countries remained in obedience to the Romans, those who fled into them were safe. In the twelfth year of Nero, Josephus informs us that Cestius Gallus, the president of Syria, came with a powerful army against Jerusalem; which he might have assaulted and taken: but without any just reason, and contrary to the expectation of all, he raised the siege and departed. Immediately after his retreat, many of the principal Jewish people forsook the city, as men do a sinking ship.”2 And a few years afterwards, when Vespasian was drawing his forces towards Jerusalem, a great multitude fled from Jericho into the mountainous country for their security.3Among these it is probable that there were some Christians; but we learn more certainly from ecclesiastical historians, 4 that, at this juncture, all who believed in Jesus Christ, warned by this oracle or prophecy, quitted Jerusalem, and removed to Pella, and other places beyond the river Jordan : and thus marvellously escaped the general shipwreck of their country; for we do not read any where that so much as one Christian perished in the siege of Jerusalem. (ii.) The appearance of false Christs and false prophets during the siege.

Prophecy. — Mark xiii, 22. Matt. xxiv. 4. False Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall show great signs and wonders ; insomuch that if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect (that is), the disciples of Jesus Christ.

FULFILMENT. Our Saviour had before cautioned his disciples against false Christs, (sce p. 615. supra.) This prediction is not a repetition of the former prophecy, but relates to those impostors who appeared during the time of the siege, and concerning whom Josephus5 thus speaks : :- “ The tyrannical zealots, who ruled the city, suborned many false prophets to declare, that aid would be given to the people from heaven This was done to prevent them from attempting to desert, and to inspire them with confidence. In this manner impostors, abusing the sacred name of God, deluded the unhappy multitude ; who, like infatuated men that have neither eyes to see, nor reason to judge, regarded neither the infallible denunciations pronounced by the antient prophets, nor the clear prodigies that indicated the approaching desolation.”

(iv.) The miseries of the Jews during, and subsequently to the siege.

PROPHECY. — Luke xxi. 22. For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. – Mark xiii. 17. 19. Matt. xxiv. 19. 21. Luke xxi. 23, 24. But woe to them that are with child, and that give suck in those days, for in those days there shall be great tribulation, distress in the land, and wrath upon this people ; such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created, unto this time; no, nor ever shall be. And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations. FULFILMENT.

It is a very material circumstance in this prophecy, that the calami-ty of the Jews should be so strange and unparalleled, as never was in the world before ;

1

for though it might easily have been foretold from the temper of the people, which was prone to sedition, that they were very likely to provoke the Romans against them ; yet there was no probability that all things should have come to such an extremity; for it was not the design of the Roman government to destroy any of those provinces which were under them, but only to keep them in subjection, and reduce them by reasonable severity in case of revolt. But that such a calamity should have happened to them under Titus, who was the mildest, and farthest from severity of all mankind, nothing was more unlikely; and that any people should conspire together to their own run, and so blindly and obstinately run themselves into such calamities, as made them the pity of their enemies, was the most incredible thing ; so that nothing less than a pro phetical spirit could have foretold so contingent and improbable a thing as this was To the extreme sufferings of the Jews, Josephus bears most ample testimony. In the preface to his history of the Jewish War, speaking generally of the calamities that befel the Jews, he says, almost in our Saviour's words, that all the calamities, which had befallen any nation FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE WORLD, were but sınall in com. parison of those of the Jews."! A brief enumeration of particulars will

, however, show the extremities to which this unhappy nation was reduced.

Within the city, the fury of the opposite factions was so great that they filled all placos, even the temple itself, with continual slaughters. Nay, to such a height did iheir madness rise, that they destroyed the very granaries of corn, which should bave sustained them; and burnt the magazines of arms which should have defended them.” By this means, when the siege had lasted only two months, the famine began to rage, and at length reduced them to such straits, that the barbarities which they practised are not to be imagined. All the reverence due to age and the sacred ties of parent and child were annihilated. Children snatched the half baked morsels, which their fathers were eating, out of their mouths; and mothers even snatched the food out of their own children's mouths.3 As the siege advanced, the ravages of the famine increased, and devoured the people by whole houses and families; the upper rooms were filled with women and children who were dying by famine, and the lanes of the city were full of the dead bodies of the aged. The children also, and the young men, wandered about the market places like shadows, and fell down dead wheresoever their misery seized them. At length the famine became so extreme, that they gladly devoured what the most sordid animals refused to touch : and a woman of distinguished rank (who had been stripped and plundered of all her goods and provisions by the soldiers, in hunger, rage, and despair, killed and roasted her babe at the breast, and had eaten one half of him before the horrid deed was discovered.5

During the siege, many hundreds, who were taken by the Romans, were first whipped, then tormented with various kinds of tortures, and finally crucifed ; the Roman soldiers nailing them (out of the wrath and hatred they bore to the Jews, one after one way,

and another after another, to crosses, by way of jest: until at length the multitude became so great that room was wanting for the crosses, and crosses for the bodies.6 Thus terribly was their imprecation fulfilled -- His blood be on w and en out children! (Matt. xxvii. 25.)

Not to enter into details of the multitudes that were massacred by the contending factions in Jerusalem, the full accomplishment of Christ's prediction, that the Jews should fall by the edge of the sword, is recorded by Josephus7 when describing the sacking of that city,

“ And now rushing into every lane, they slew whomsoever they found, without distinction, and burnt the houses and all the people who had fled into them. And when they entered for the sake of plunder, they found whole families of dead persons, and houses full of carcasses destroyed by famine ; then they came out with their hands empty. And though they thus pitied the dead, they did not feel the same emotion for the living, but killed all they met, whereby they filled the lanes with dead bodies. The whole city ran with blood, insomuch, that many things which were burning, were extin.

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Josephus, de Bell. Jud. lib. 1. Præf. 04. 2 Ibid. lib. 5. c. 1. $ 4. 3 Ibid. lib. 5. c. 10. Ø 2, 3.

4 Ibid. lib. 5. c. 12. 3. -5 Ibid. lib. 6. c. 3. 8.3, 4. The historian deplores the cruel deed, as a most lagrant violation of nature, which had never been perpetrated by Greek or barbarian; and such as he would not have related, if there had not been innumerable witnesses to it in his own age. It may be proper to remark, that this horrid circumstance was a further accomplishment of the prophecy of Moses in Deut. xxviii

. 53. 56, 57.; and which had twice before been fulfilled, --- first in Samaria, the capital of the idolatrous ten tribes, when besieged by Benhadad king of Syria (2 Kings vi. 29.), and again, in Jerusalem when besieged by Nebuchadnezzar. Sec the Lamentations of Jeremiah, ii. 20. iv. 10.

6 Ibid. lib. 5. c. 11. 91.
7 Ibid. lib. 6. c. 8. & 5. c. 9. 2, 3.

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guished by the blood." Thus were the inhabitants of Jerusalem slain with the sword; thus was she laid even with the ground, and her children with her. • The soldiers being now wearied with killing the Jews, and yet a great number remaining alive, Cæsar commanded that only the armed, and they who resisted, should be slain. But the soldiers killed also the old and the infirm ; and taking the young and strong prisoners, carried them into the women's court in the temple. Cæsar appointed one Fronto, his freedman and friend, to guard them, and to determine the fate of each. All the robbers and the seditious he slew, one of them betraying another. But picking out such youths as were remarkable for stature and beauty, he reserved them for the triumph. All the rest that were above seventeen years old, he sent bound into Egypt, to be employed in labour there. Titus also sent many of them into the provinces, to be slain in the theatres, by beasts and the sword. And those who were under seventeen years of age, were slain. And during the time Fronto judged them, a thousand died of hunger.”

But the falling by the edge of the sword mentioned in our Lord's prophecy, is not to be confined to what happened at the siege, in which not fewer than eleven hundred thousand perished. It also comprehended all the slaughters made of the Jews, in ditferent batiles, sieges, and massacres, both in their own country and at other places, during the whole course of the war. Thus, by the command of Florus, who was the first author of the war, there were slain at Jerusalem,2 three thousand and six hundred :By the inhabitants of Cæsarea,3 above twenty thousand : - At Scythopolis, 4 above thirteen thousand :- At Ascalon,5 two thousand fire hundred, and at Ptolemais, two thousand :- At Alerandria, under Tiberius Alexander the president,6 fifty thousand :

At Joppa, when it was taken by Cestius Gallus,7 cight thousand four hundred : In a mountain called Asamon, near Sepphoris,8 above two thousand :- At Damascus, 9 ten thousand :- In a battle with the Romans at Ascalon,10 ten thousand :- In an ambuscade near the same place, 11 eight thousand :At Japha,12-fifteen thousand :- By the Samaritans upon mount Garizin,13 eleven thousand und sit hundred : At Jotapa,14 forty thousand :- At Joppa, when taken by Vespasian,15 four thousand tuo hundred : At Tarichea,16 siz thousand five hundred, and after the city was taken, twelve hundred :- At Gamala,17 four thousand slain, besides five thousand who threw themselves down a precipice : -of those who fled with John from Gischala,17 six thousand :-Of the Gadarenes,18 fifteen thousand slain, besides an infinite number drowned : -- In the villages of Idumea,19 above ten thousand slain :- At Gerasa,20 a thousand :— At Machærus, 21 seventeen hundred: - In the wood of Jardes,22 three thousand - In the castle of Masada,23 nine hundred and sixty :- In Cyrene, by Catullus the governor, 24 three thousand :- Besides these, many of every age, sex, and condition, were slain in this war, who are not reckoned ; but of these who are reckoned, the number amounts to above one million three hundred fifty-seden thousand siz hundred and sixty; which would appear almost incredible, if their own historian had not so particularly enumerated them.

But besides the Jews who fell by the edge of the sword, others were also to be led aray captive into all nations : and considering the numbers of the slain, the number of the captives too was very great. There were taken particularly at Japha,25 two thousand one hundred and thirty :— At Jotapa,26 one thousand two hundred :- At Tarichea, 27 sic thousand chosen young men sent to Nero, the rest sold to the number of thirty thousand and four hundred, besides those who were given to Agrippa : – Of the Gadarenes, 28 two thousand two hundred : - In Idumea,29 above a thousand, Many besides these were taken at Jerusalem, so that as Josephus himself informs us,30 the number of the captives taken in the whole war amounted to ninety-seven thousand; the tall and handsome young men Titus reserved for his triumph ; of the rest, those above seventeen years of age were sent to the works in Egypt, but most were distributed through the Roman provinces, to be destroyed in their theatres by the sword or by the wild beasts ; those under seventeen were sold for slaves. Of these captives many underwent a hard fate. Eleven thousand of them31 perished for want. Titus exhibita ed all sorts of shows and spectacles at Cæsarea, and32 many of the captives were

2 Ibid. lib. 2. c. 14. \ 9. 1 Josephus, de Bell. Jud. lib. 6. c. 9. 9 3.

4 Ibid. Ø 3. 3 Ibid. lib. 2. c. 18. 9 1.

6 Ibid. Ø 8. 5 Ibid. 05. 7 Ibid. § 10.

& Ibid. Ø 11.

9 Ibid. c. 20. 02. 10 Lib. 3. c. 2. 2.

11 Ibid. Ø 3.

12 Ibid. c.7.931. 13 Ibid. lib. c. 7. $ 32.

14 Ibid. 0 36.

15 Ibid. c. 8.3. 16 Ibid. c. 9. Ø 9, 10.

17 Lib. 4. c. 1. § 10.

18 Ibid. c. 7. 05.

21 Lib. 7. c. 6. 4. 22 Ibid. & 5. 19 Ibid. c. 8. $ 1.

20 Ibid.,c. 9. $1. 23 Ibid. c. 9. V 1.

26 Ibid. 9 36. 24 Ibid. c. 11.9 2.

25 Lib. 3. c. 7.0 31. 27 Ibid. c. 9. 10.

28 Lib. 4. c. 7. 05. 29 Ibid. c. 8. 1.

30 Ibid. lib. 6. c. 9. 92 & 3.

31 Ibid

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